“The hardest thing about splitting up was that I didn’t have a job. I took care of the kids, the house, and the yard.
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When it comes to getting married, or living in a long-term common-law relationship in the Fraser Valley, one of the most important – and most contentious – issues that a couple can face is a marriage agreement, commonly known as a prenuptial agreement. It is particularly important where one party is bringing significant assets into the relationship, often in second marriages. While discussing and forming this type of agreement can cause tension in a relationship, it is a realistic and practical step to take to prevent family law problems later on. Not every relationship goes on the way it was planned or intended. Separation and divorce sadly are distinct possibilities for many couples – and while the ending of your relationship may leave you heartbroken, a prenuptial agreement may prevent it from also leaving you broke.
This case involved a common law relationship in which the parties were not married. The husband brought a claim for a declaration of constructive trust for a portion of the wife’s property. The common-law wife appealed from the husband’s successful application for a declaration of constructive trust. The parties began cohabiting in 1995 and separated in 2002. At the time the parties began living together, the wife owned a property with her mother, and her 50% interest was valued at $25,000. The wife subsequently purchased her mother’s interest and the parties lived in the home. The husband claimed to have made significant contributions, particularly in labour and improvements, to the property. He also worked in the wife’s janitorial business. In 2001 the wife sold the house for $129,900 and purchased a development property on Portage Road for $219,900. She obtained bank and other financing for the balance of the price. The husband claimed that he had contributed significant labour in improving the property and working on permits for subdivision. Throughout the relationship, the wife had worked two jobs and paid most of the family’s expenses. The husband was also employed, but his wages were not contributed to the family resources.